A few weeks ago, I discovered a lump. On my leg. Normally, this is not a strange occurrence. I’m not exactly graceful, so I often bump into furniture or doorways and end up with a number of bruises and the occasional bruised bump. I also happen to be allergic to mosquito bites, so I sometimes have red welts on my arms or legs when I get tired of wearing long sleeves and pants during the sweltering South Texas summer months.
But this lump was different. No bruising, and no welts. I’d recently heard on the Saturday morning gardening show that we listen to that one of the frequent contributors had surgery to remove blood clots in his legs. So perhaps because of that story, my first fear was that I had a big ol’ clot. My fear was exacerbated by the fact that I had to fly to a conference in Washington, D.C., in six days, and I know that flying increases the likelihood of blood clots – and dislodging them.
After twenty-four hours of icing (maybe it was just a bruise-less bump from a run-in with furniture?), the lump was still there. And now, it hurt. (Or did it start hurting because I knew it was there?) I went to see the doctor. She said the lump was in a lymph node location (great!) and with a history of cancer in my family, she ordered a sonogram to rule out anything serious. (Sheesh! Another fear?!)
The very same day, I received the diagnosis. It was a lipoma – a benign, fatty little cyst. I was relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious, but in the back of my mind I still feared the possibility of a blood clot episode on my flight to or from D.C.
Productivity Tools (really??)
So, I bought compression socks. I couldn’t find any for women, so I bought a men’s pair. These would make me even less of a fashionista if I wore them with a skirt or shorts, so I hid them under my pants. Since alcohol neither caused nor would negatively affect the lipoma, I continued to enjoy my favorite summer drink: gin and tonic.
On the flight to D.C., I sat next to my friend and keynote speaker colleague, Cheryl Jones. I usually don’t share my worries with others because I want to focus on the positive, but I was a little scared, so I divulged my secret to her – knowing that she’s studied alternative practices. She suggested that I run a magnet across that region, away from my body. I’d heard of people wearing copper or magnetic bracelets to ward off medical evil, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to do this either.
Two weeks later, the lump has nearly disappeared. Was it the compression socks? Or the gin? Or the magnet? I’ll never know. But I’m glad I didn’t stay stuck in fear, and I’m glad I reached out to someone else who might have a solution. Knowing that I was moving forward helped my mind concentrate on all the other tasks I needed to complete. I gambled and took steps that might solve the problem. ‘Lo and behold, one or all of them did!
What challenge in your personal or business life do you have that’s causing you fear? What first step forward will you take to meet it head on?
For more productivity tools and tips from time management keynote speaker Helene Segura, click here.